Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Song of the Day 5/11/09

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Monday’s song is #443:

Angelo Badalamenti – Twin Peaks Theme

As a classical composition, the way the composer takes its central four-note motif and builds around it is nothing short of brilliant. Deservedly one of the most iconic melodies of the late 80s/early 90s. From the 1989 soundtrack to the great, phantasmagorical David Lynch noir show (imagine David Lynch on network tv now, the idea is preposterous!), mp3s are everywhere.

May 10, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Concert Review: Anguile & the High Steppers at Shrine, NYC 5/9/09

Good times and good vibes in Harlem on a Saturday night with African-flavored roots reggae by Anguile & the High Steppers. The band was excellent, bass and drums holding down a fat riddim, excellent percussionist with a dubwise feel, terse Telecaster player running his guitar through a watery chorus effect, jazzy keyboardist and bandleader Anguile, from Gabon via Paris, out front. He’s a big guy with a casual, comfortable stage presence, singing in both French and English, sometimes both in the same song, decked out in a white robe over a black t-shirt and fatigue pants. The band jammed their way jazzily into what seems to be their theme song, Negre Blanc – this being a multiracial band, the song is not sarcastic but simply explanatory. Anguile’s lyrics fit the traditional roots mold: respect for all races and mother Africa, with considerable emphasis on the spiritual. But the most fervent ones were always set to the catchiest, most upbeat tunes, keeping everything irie.

A call for racial equality (titled Afrique, Ecoute-Moi maybe?) had a punchy, Exodus-style intensity. Anguile related that how when he was a child, he asked his grandmother where his name came from. She replied that the original Anguile was a slave trader. He was happy to announce that through some internet sleuthing, he eventually learned that Anguile was the Gabonese leader who freed the slaves there.

Cocol Gnom Bi grooved along on a jazzy two-chord vamp reminiscent of vintage Aswad. Dieu Connait Ton Nom (God Knows Your Name) was bouncy and bubbly, as was the aptly titled Party Party (not the Costello song), spiced with carefree solos by the keyboardist and then Anguile, who would pick up a melodica from time to time. Their best song was the slow, hypnotic, trance-inducing, Burning Spear-inflected Change Ton Pas (Change Your Ways). They closed their first set with their darkest number, building from an eerie organ intro to a ominous four-chord verse that would have worked as well in a mid-70s British art-rock song as it did here. Finally at the end (this band’s songs are long!) they cut loose with the drums and the wah-wah guitar kicking up a storm. Anyone who loves roots reggae, the old or the new or just any kind of hypnotic, psychedelic music ought to check these guys out.

May 10, 2009 Posted by | Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Song of the Day 5/10/09

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Sunday’s song is #444:

The Goodie Mob – Cell Therapy

“Who’s that peeking in my window? Blam, nobody now!” A savagely offhand call for privacy rights set to a supremely eerie piano sample by the Atlanta group who made a mark in the mid-90s blending hip-hop with oldschool 70s soul. From the Soul Food cd, 1995; mp3s are everywhere. The link above is the original video.

May 10, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment